Windows 11 comes with an improved clipboard over its predecessors. The new clipboard history feature lets you copy multiple items to the clipboard, which you can use to paste as needed. However, sometimes you may find that the copy and paste function does not work on your Windows 11 computer.
This issue can occur due to corrupted system files and temporary issues with Windows File Explorer. Here we show you some troubleshooting steps to help you repair and restore copy and paste functionality in Windows 11.
1. Perform a Clean Boot
You can perform a clean boot to determine if a third-party application conflict is causing copy and paste functionality to malfunction. Third-party application conflicts are among the common factors contributing to this problem.
In clean boot mode, Windows starts with a minimal set of drivers. To do this, you will need to manually disable all non-essential startup programs and services and restart your PC.
To perform a clean boot:
- Hurry Win + R open To run.
- Type msconfig.msc and click OKAY open System Setup. You can also find the system configuration in Windows Search and open the app.
- In the System Setup window, open it Services tongue.
- Then check the Hide all Microsoft services box. This will hide all the essential system services needed for the system to function so that you don’t accidentally disable them.
- Then click on the Disable all button to disable third-party services.
- Then open the start tab and click Open Task Manager.
- The task manager will open in the start tongue.
- Here, select all start apps one by one and click Disable.
- Once you have disabled all startup applications, return to the System Setup dialogue. Click on Apply and OKAY to save changes.
- Click on To restart to restart your PC in clean boot mode
After restarting, try copying and pasting to see if the feature works. If the issue is resolved, you can safely assume that a third-party app is causing the problem.
To find the troubleshooting app:
- Go to System Configuration > Services. Here, make sure the Hide all Microsoft services option is selected.
- Next, enable all third-party services one by one until you find the problematic app or service.
If the problem persists in clean boot mode, proceed to the next steps. Before that, enable all disabled services in the system configuration.
To disable clean boot mode and start Windows normally:
- Open the System Setup dialogue.
- Then open the General tab and select the tab normal start option.
- Click on Apply and OKAY and restart your PC.
2. Update your Windows
While updating your copy of Windows usually won’t break functionality, new updates tend to provide overall system improvements and fixes for known bugs.
Check the Windows Update tab to see if you have any new updates available and install them to see if that helps fix the problem.
To install Windows updates:
- Open Begin and click on Settings.
- Then open the Windows Update tab in the left pane.
- If you don’t see any pending updates, click Check for updates. Windows will check for new updates and list them accordingly.
- Proceed to install all critical updates and restart your PC.
3. Restart File Explorer
File Explorer helps you navigate directories and browse files in Windows. Since it is an integral part of the Windows GUI, restarting the File Explorer process can help you restore copy and paste functionality in Windows 11.
To restart File Explorer:
- Hurry Win + X to open the WinX menu.
- Click on Task Manager to open the app.
- In the Process tab, locate and select Windows Explorer.
- Then click on To restart to restart the process. Your screen may flicker when File Explorer restarts.
4. Run the Keyboard Troubleshooter
Windows 11 has a built-in keyboard troubleshooter to find and fix common issues. It fixes issues triggered due to faulty drivers and incorrect keyboard configuration.
To run the Keyboard Troubleshooter:
- Hurry Win + I open Settings.
- In the System tab, scroll down and click Troubleshoot.
- Then click on Other convenience stores.
- Scroll to Keyboard and click on the To run button. Wait for the troubleshooter to detect and fix any issues with your keyboard.
If the problem persists, check your keyboard for hardware issues.
5. Check your keyboard for hardware issues
You can easily remap your keyboard keys in Windows. If so, make sure the Ctrl+C / Ctrl+V shortcut is set correctly.
Also, check for issues with the Ctrl keys. Your keyboard probably has multiple ctrl keys. Try using the extra ctrl key at the bottom right of your keyboard to copy and paste. If it works, you’re probably dealing with a faulty left ctrl key.
If you determine that your keyboard has a faulty key, follow this guide to repair broken keys on your computer keyboard.
6. Run System File Checker
If you rule out hardware issues, troubleshoot your system for possible system file corruption. You can use the built-in System File Checker and Deployment Image Service and Management Tool to find and fix system-level errors.
To run the System File Checker tool, you need to open the command prompt as an administrator. Here’s how:
- press the To win touch and type ordered.
- Right click on Command Prompt and select Execute as administrator.
- In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press Enter:
- System File Checker will begin the verification phase. It will search for all protected system files and replace corrupt or missing files. This process may take some time, so wait until the verification is 100% complete.
7. Create a new local user account
You can create a new local user account in Windows 11 to determine if the issue is limited to your current user account. Follow our guide on creating a new local user account in Windows 11 for more information.
Once done, log in with your new local account and try copying and pasting. If that works, you can try repairing your local user account or continue using the new local account.
Restore Copy and Paste functionality in Windows 11
The copy-paste function of Windows works without any problem most of the time. But when it’s not, it can disrupt your workflow. To fix the problem, check for any third-party conflicts or issues with your input hardware and diagnose system file corruption.
If nothing helps, try repairing and installing Windows 11. This involves performing an in-place upgrade to reinstall the operating system without affecting your system settings or files.